Middlesbrough and Rotherham United left seeking full-back solutions

Middlesbrough and Rotherham United are both on the look-out for left-backs.

INJURY WOE: Rotherham United's Joe Mattock, left. Picture: Bradley Collyer/PA

Another injury to Joe Mattock has made the Millers’ need more pressing, whilst Boro boss Neil Warnock has admitted Ciaron Brown is one of three players he is considering for one of his problem positions.

Warnock handed Brown his Cardiff City debut two years ago and with Marcus Tavernier pressed into action at left-back during Friday’s pre-season friendly at Plymouth Argyle, he is an option ahead of Hayden Coulson’s expected departure.

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“He (Brown) is one of three lads that we’re looking at,” confirmed Warnock. “We’re a bit short on that left side, and I think you’re asking a bit too much of Pelts (Lee Peltier).

Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA

“It’s nice to have a natural left-footer.”

In three years in south Wales, 23-year-old Brown has made only 11 Championship starts, and was loaned to Livingston three times.

Warnock is also considering a move for centre-back Kean Bryan, a free agent after failing to agree a new contract at Sheffield United.

Boro are due to complete the signing of Martin Payero once the midfielder’s Olympics are over, which could be tomorrow if Argentina lose to Spain in their final group game. La Albiceleste recovered from a surprise opening defeat to Australia to beat Egypt with Payero recalled to the XI.

Rotherham United manager Paul Warne. Picture: Tim Goode/PA

A draw would leave Argentina needing Egypt to beat Australia to reach the quarter-finals.

Mattock felt a tight Achilles at the weekend on top of the ankle problem which has restricted him to three competitive appearances since December’s surgery.

Matt Olosunde, a right-back who filled in there at times last season, has joined Preston North End and centre-back Clark Robertson, who can play on the left, moved to Portsmouth, left-back Trevor Clarke to Bristol Rovers.

New signing Shane Ferguson played there in Saturday’s friendly at Grimsby Town and although he is more than capable, manager Paul Warne signed him to play higher up the field.

A left-back will therefore be one of the five players Warne is targeting in this transfer window. The League One club have bids in for four players, thought to include St Johnstone right-back Shaun Rooney and Hamilton Academical midfielder Hakeem Odoffin, but some are either/ors.

“It’s been evident that we can’t rely on Joe to play 50 games every season,” said Warne. “I’m looking forward to hopefully bringing in a new left-back (this) week.

“He (Mattock) felt like his Achilles was really tight. He was a bit tired from Tuesday (when he played in a pre-season friendly at Rochdale). He trained on Friday.

“The intention was for him to play a part but he wasn’t fit to join the play. He’s been struggling with an ankle for quite a bit now.”

Jack Muldoon and George Thomson have signed contract extensions at Harrogate Town confident the club can continue its progress.

Thompson scored the opening goal in last year’s Conference play-off final then followed it up by being named player of Harrogate’s maiden Football League season.

“Our target is to go make some more memories,” he said.

Muldoon, who joined a year later in 2018, has top-scored in each of his three seasons at the club.

Meanwhile, former Huddersfield Town defender Michael Hefele is to return to the club in a role combining coaching, mentoring and ambassadorial duties after retiring from playing.